Why Brian Burns’ evolution to defensive leader is now complete

Dean Jones
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brian Burns
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Defensive end Brian Burns has now emerged as the undisputed leader of the Carolina Panthers defense heading into the 2021 season.

Brian Burns is clearly destined for great things and the Carolina Panthers are going to benefit as a result. The defensive end is one of the league’s best young players at the position and just how much he brings his game on in Year 3 will go a long way to determining just how far this team can go next season.

This is a big challenge for Burns.

But it is something he is clearly taking very seriously.

Burns is currently recovering from an offseason procedure that meant he was unable to participate in drills during voluntary OTAs. However, that did not stop the former Florida State standout from being heavily involved in whatever way possible in pursuit of helping his teammates.

The sign of a true leader.

Just having Burns around the facility gives everyone a lift. He is a player that everyone seems to gravitate towards and his evolution into the undisputed leader on Carolina’s defense is now complete.

This is a responsibility that has been held by some legendary figures in recent years. The likes of Thomas Davis, Julius Peppers, Luke Kuechly, Sam Mills, and Kevin Greene all held the distinction over franchise history and Burns is keen to enter this sort of company with a strong influence both on and off the field.

The Panthers hold Burns in the highest regard, which is all the confidence he needs to enter a completely different stratosphere in 2021.